Article

Inflammaging as a Major Characteristic of Old People: Can It Be Prevented or Cured?

Department of Experimental Pathology and Interdepartmental Centre L. Galvani at the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Nutrition Reviews (Impact Factor: 6.08). 12/2008; 65(12 Pt 2):S173-6. DOI: 10.1301/nr.2007.dec.S173-S176
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Widespread aging at the population level is a recent phenomenon that emerged in affluent societies. Inflammation is necessary to cope with damaging agents and is crucial for survival, particularly to cope with acute inflammation during our reproductive years. But chronic exposure to a variety of antigens, especially to some viruses such as cytomegalovirus, for a period much longer than that predicted by evolution, induces a chronic low-grade inflammatory status that contributes to age-associated morbidity and mortality. This condition carries the proposed name "inflammaging". Centenarians are unique in that, despite high levels of pro-inflammatory markers, they also exhibit anti-inflammatory markers that may delay disease onset. The key to successful aging and longevity is to decrease chronic inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens.

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    • "The number of astrocytes, at least in human brains, for which the relevant counts were performed (Pelvig et al., 2008; Fabricius et al., 2013), does not change with age, remaining unaffected even in centenarians (Fabricius et al., 2013). Although the concept of the age-dependent increase in astroglial reactivity is quite widespread (Unger, 1998; Lynch et al., 2010) and is used to corroborate the ideas of the so called ''inflammaging'' (Franceschi, 2007), which regards brain senescence as a chronic neuroinflammation; the experimental data on this matter are, however, controversial. In aged animals a decrease (e.g. "
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